The third annual Central Alberta Yogathon raised more than $7,000 for the Smile Thru Lindsey Foundation on Saturday.
Dozens of yoga enthusiasts flocked to City Hall Park in downtown Red Deer to practice yoga and to raise money and awareness of mental illness.
Bringing people together in the yoga community was the initial goal. Last year the organizing committee decided to add raising awareness about mental illness to its mission statement.
Committee chair Erin Payne said having a yoga event raise money for mental illness just makes sense.
“Yoga is synchronized with creating a calm mind. It’s really a great tool for people who do suffer from mental illness. If we can get three or four people to try yoga and it becomes something that helps in their healing process then we’ve won.”
The committee raises money for Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation, which was created after Red Deer’s Lindsey More took her own life in 2015 after battling depression.
Lindsey More’s father and co-creator of the foundation Rick More was proud to see the community help raise money for the fight against mental illness, he said.
“It’s overwhelming how Red Deer has come together,” he said. “It means a lot to receive that kind of donation and we’re humbled as a family.”
Rick More said he and his family looks to carry on his daughter’s legacy by making a difference and to spread awareness of mental illness and the impact it can have on a person.
Last year the Yogathon raised about $2,300 for the foundation. Being able to more than triple that amount this year was exciting, said Payne.